Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that isn't answered here, please get in contact. We would be happy to add the information to our website to help keep the community informed.

HOW WILL MMP AFFECT VOTES IN RURAL AREAS - FOR EXAMPLE UP WEST?

Contrary to the 'No' side's speculation, the evidence (and experience from other countries) suggests that rural voters (like all voters) will benefit from MMP.

There are 4 reasons - read more below...

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

FairVoteCanada has a great page reviewing the evidence in favour of Proportional Representation: www.fairvote.ca/evidence

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IN MMP, DO THE PARTIES 'APPOINT' MLAs?

No.

This is an unfortunately-common myth that opponents of Proportional Representation have been spreading around, to generate fear of change. The reality of MMP is that party control is lowered - the system becomes more democratic, and listens to every voter.

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HOW DOES PR HELP ELECT MORE WOMEN & DIVERSE GROUPS?

A review of systems around the world which use proportional representation systems on average elect 8% more women. There are a number of factors which influence MMP ’s ability to help elect more women and diverse under-represented groups.

Here are 3 of the main factors...

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IS MMP USED ANYWHERE 'SMALL'? PEI IS NOT A COUNTRY

Yes!

MMP is not only used in other countries, like New Zealand and Germany, but also in many other states, provinces, and municipalities around the world.

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MINORITY GOVERNMENTS - HOW DO THEY WORK? ARE THEY UNSTABLE, WITH LOTS OF ELECTIONS?

Elections tend to be less frequent under Proportional systems, than under First Past the Post, which incentivizes early dissolution if  a minority government are elected. No such incentive exists in a proportional system, so minority governments lat their full term.

Majority governments are also possible, if a party has truly earned a majority from the voters.

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WHAT HAPPENS IN A BY-ELECTION?

The answer depends on whether it is a district seat or a province-wide proportional seat.

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CAN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES WIN SEATS?

Yes, in districts. Independnts might even have more of a chance to win under MMP.

Read more below to find out why...

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HOW DOES A GOVERNMENT FORM IN PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION? HOW IS THE SPEAKER SELECTED IF THERE IS A TIE?

Parties negotiate to form a majority coalition, or a minority government with a confidence-and-supply agreement from other parties.

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DOES THIS MEAN MORE MLAS, AND MORE COSTLY GOVERNMENT?

No, it doesn't.

With the MMP model proposed, we'd have the same number of representatives as what we have now.

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DOES THIS LET RADICAL, FRINGE, MICRO-PARTIES WIN SEATS?

No. This is a valid critique of some country's electoral systems, where large parliaments mean that a fringe party could be elected with less than 1% of the vote.

The model proposed for PEI has a natural minimum threshold of 3.7%...

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DOES MMP FAVOUR SMALL PARTIES? IS IT BIASED TOWARDS THEM?

No - it favours voter equality and fairness, and removes a bias of the current system.

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HOW WILL PARTIES CHOOSE THEIR LIST?

List candidates will be nominated the same way local candidates are nominated, by party members.

Some people have said that the lists will be 'selected by backroom elites' within political parties. However, we think this fear is baseless and misleading: if a party did not conduct a democratic vote of all its members to select the members on the list, and their ranking, that there would be an uproar from the party membership.

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WHAT ARE THE "LIST SEAT" RULES? COULD SOMEONE HAVE A 'SEAT FOR LIFE'? BE ELECTED WITH NEAR-ZERO VOTES? RUN IN A DISTRICT SEAT AND ALSO ON THE LIST?

The likely answers are 'No', 'No', and 'Yes'.

These questions have not yet been tightly defined in the legislation for PEI. We wish they were already answered, so that islanders could have more certainty going into the vote! But ultimately, they aren't make-or-break considerations.

Read on for our recommendations for how these rules should be set up, based on experiences from other places that use Mixed-Member Proportional voting.

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GIVE ME SOME REFERENCES

If you'd like a list of government-commissioned and academic references that recommend Proportional Representation, read on below...

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Who do the 9 'island wide' MLAs represent?

"Do these 9 people represent an area? Or do they sit in the house 'at large', representing the whole Island?"

It's a little more nuanced than that - they represent values groups and communities that elected them, and are accountable to voters across the whole island.

Read more below...

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